Ninth position was my goal – I knew it was ambitious and that we would have to show some really good speed to do it whilst running so early on the road. Looking at it now, I am very happy with our performance and I think we did a fantastic job considering the road position.
We were helped by the fact that the car was perfect. It was fantastic all weekend and I felt confident to push as hard as I could. That just makes it more of a shame when I think about what happened on Friday, because we definitely had the full package this weekend. I feel we could have challenged for the victory.
I think our pace was shown by our result on the Power Stage at the end of the event. Considering that I was cleaning the road, and the fact that [Sebastien] Ogier had twelve cars ahead of him, it shouldn't have been possible to finish second. But I did it. Like I said in Mexico, I must be the fastest road sweeper there is!
While eighth place isn't the result we were hoping for before the weekend started, we proved in Portugal that we have the pace to challenge for the top positions and I'm sure that we have the speed to win an event soon.
That win might come in Argentina, which is where we go next – and I'm sure it will be a good event. It's another rough gravel round with spectacular stages, high altitudes and an enormous amount of spectators… and really good steaks! We did well there last year to take a podium position in third, and we'll be aiming to at least replicate that and challenge for top honours.
I feel that a podium finish is a realistic aim given the pace we have shown on recent events – and I'd very much like to be the person who comes away from Argentina as quickest of all.
Of course, it's points that are important for us, so I'll be looking to score as many as I can as we need a good score after our recent bad luck. I know that my championship hopes have taken a hit recently but winning the championship this year was never my target.
However, rest assured that I will win it in future!
That's all for now...
To keep tabs on the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team's progress in 2013, simply follow this link: www.qatarmsportwrt.com